740.00112 European War 1939/1–145

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Northern European Affairs (Trimble)

Mr. Dent14 telephoned me on January 2, 1945 regarding the suggestion recently made by representatives of the Swedish Government to the effect that we authorize a continuance of token shipments from Sweden to Germany in order that the Goteborg safe conduct traffic may remain open. He said that he thought we should approve this suggestion because of the value of the traffic to the British and the Americans. I informed Mr. Dent that this Government had decided not to accept this suggestion, but would insist upon complete termination of all Swedish trade with Germany. He then said that he thought it might be advisable for the Swedish Government to appeal our decision. I replied that I failed to understand the reason since the Swedish Government had formally agreed to terminate the trade. Mr. Dent then mentioned that the matter might still be referred to “higher authority”. I reiterated that, in so far as this Government is concerned, we desired that all Swedish exports to Germany cease upon the arrival of the Saturnus and that we would hold the Swedish Government to its commitment.

Mr. Dent then stated that he could not understand why we were opposed to Sweden’s exporting goods to Norway and Denmark. I pointed out that we would be agreeable to the exportation of relief supplies et cetera on an ad hoc basis and after reference to London and Washington. Further exports, however, might be of indirect value [Page 734]to the German war effort and hence, we were opposed to them and were insisting that Sweden terminate them in accordance with its commitments to us. Mr. Dent thereupon asserted that our attitude would cause serious hardships to the Norwegians and the Danes and that he was thinking of “the Norwegians’ feelings in the matter rather than those of you or ourselves”.

I informed Mr. Dent that our minds had been made up and hence had nothing more to say regarding the subject.

William C. Trimble
  1. John Dent, First Secretary of the British Embassy.